Monday, February 25, 2008

a most unlikely teacher

sitting in biology lab, I'm wondering how anyone can teach/study science and not believe in G-d. last week we studied the cell, and this week we're looking at epithelial tissues. and my professor is enraptured by the works of our body. she keeps remarking at how amazing it is that we have "teeny-tiny-microscopic machines in our body" i watch my lab partners look in their microscopes and wonder what they think when they see slides of cell division:
Nick is just sitting and eating sour sticks. he eats them every week. and they're the gross kind too, the ones you buy for 25 cents in a vending machine. every week the professor gives her little speech about no eating in the lab, and every week he pulls out his sour sticks. this week they're red. sometimes they're blue. when he's not eating sour sticks, he's putting on chap stick or busy with his phone. the only time i every saw him get worked up about anything at all was the time the professor told him he can't make up the quiz he missed last week. then he got ticked off.
Frank keeps looking into his microscope and muttering "gorgeous" just the way the professor says it in her Queens accent. he says it just loud enough for everyone at the table, and the professor to hear. he's a bit of a clown. he just likes mocking the professor because she gets so ticked off. but he's actually quite a good mimic.
Peter is absent. he misses more classes than he attends. he comes to class, he slouches in his chair with his hood on and practices making faces, alternating between I'm-bored-face, I'm-tired-face, and i-don't-want-to-be-here-face. if you look really closely you can just discern the difference between the three of them.
so it's just me left to wonder at the beauty and precision of creation. I'm not usually so enamored of things i can't see. ok that's an understatement. i HATE learning about cells, but somehow it seems almost interesting. if you stop and simply think about what's going on in your body-even when you're sleeping, all those three trillion cells in the body are constantly at work. quite like the inside of a clock. I'm still not a fan of memorizing the names of cells (simple, squamous, cuboidal) types (epithelial, connective, muscular) or their characteristics, but how can you you look at something like that and not wonder what's making it function like that? how can you accept that a body that works so perfectly is just running by itself?
it's funny how it takes a Catholic science professor from Queens to teach me a lesson like that


Yoni said...

did they make you take a sample of your own cheek cells?

they did with us... I think I saw one of mine about to divide. :) That was really cool. (they take a tooth pick and have you scratch the inside of your cheek so that you get some tissue on it, and then they squash them inside of two slides to try and make them flat and transperent. it worked for mine! :)

The Babysitter said...

You know what this reminds me of, the magic school bus, how they go inside the body and you say everything that goes on in there, its amazing.

I heard of that cheek experiment somewhere, don't remember where though.

the apple said...

Your lab partners sound scintillating.

frumcollegegirl said...

oh we actually asked the professor if we could check out our cheek cells but she was very grossed out at the thought of our insides on her microscopes. so i suggested looking at hair. only problem was nick's hair is way too short. so i lent him some of mine. but there was nothing to see cuz i keep it so clean :)

The Babysitter said...

Another thing, slightly off topic is that from being in my philosophy class, I appreciate the Torah so much more. All these people are trying to figure out what would be the moral way, and how to fit exceptions in and everything. But here with the Torah you have it all in front of you, all the rules, and its even complicated enough that it fits in the exceptions.